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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    King County WA
    Posts
    1

    Mobile Espresso Permit and licensing

    I''m in process of purchasing an espresso concession trailer and am looking to see if anyone can help out with a few questions I have regarding licensing etc. in King Co. WA. I''m wondering if the unit has to be licensed in each County/City it operates in and if it''s possible to drive the unit up somewhere an begin serving espresso once licensed. Does the county need to have information regarding each place you set-up and operate? Do I have to set it up as a permanent establishment or just as a temporary?
    The trailer is LnI certified.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3

    Re: Mobile Espresso Permit and licensing

    [quote:6426b96734=\"Mobile Bean\"]I''''m in process of purchasing an espresso concession trailer and am looking to see if anyone can help out with a few questions I have regarding licensing etc. in King Co. WA. I''''m wondering if the unit has to be licensed in each County/City it operates in and if it''''s possible to drive the unit up somewhere an begin serving espresso once licensed. Does the county need to have information regarding each place you set-up and operate? Do I have to set it up as a permanent establishment or just as a temporary?
    The trailer is LnI certified.[/quote:6426b96734]

    Hi there Mobile Bean,
    I had a mobile espresso concession trailer for 5 years before I sold it and moved out of my route area. But I think I can help you, generally. Of course, you''ll need to verify the particulars with the govt where you operate.

    Licensing: there''s Environmental Health licensing, and then there is business licensing. Usually, the Environmental Health dept of the county is the dept that is going to give you a \"clean bill of health\". I STRONGLY recommend that you get their guidelines FIRST before you put the deposit down on any mobile catering unit. We looked at some great units in Oregon and Washington, even others in other CA counties, that would not pass inspection in our county. So save yourself some heartburn, and get those mobile kitchen guidelines first (it will have to do with sinks, sanitizing, commissaries, etc). We had our trailer licensed in our home county....we did cross over to the nearby county to do movie sets, and really should have gotten licensed over there, too, we could have been busted. We once did a Search and Rescue training weekend seminar in a county 3 hours away, and we DID get busted, the Env. Health Director for that county was one of the people taking the seminar.

    Know the guidelines! My hubby was the primary operator, and he would sometimes have an Env Health Inspector walk up at one of his stops, as the Inspector was finishing at another restaurant. They don''t mind some loose coffee grounds on the counter, but they checked the steam wand (my hubby was compulsive about wiping that each time!) and would always check for bleach on board), and frig temps.

    Oh! And usually, you''ll need a commercial kitchen for a commissary. This can be difficult. We lucked out with paying a bagel shop, then a mexican restaurant, a monthly fee for commissary services. Technically, you''re supposed to dump your greywater tanks there, and you''re supposed to have a shelf for your supplies. Technically.

    Business Licensing: yes, we had a business license for each city we operated in. We didn''t want to get busted on that, it was easy and cheap.
    Don''t forget your ficticious business name and your resale permit.

    Then, you''re ready for business! Find out from your city/county if there are parking regulations. My hubby had one street in an industrial area where he would set up for about an hour in the morning. Then, he developed a route of customers, pulling up like a catering truck. We were always careful not to infringe on the business of brick and morter coffee houses in strip malls, or to come at the same time as a regular catering truck (we were threatened!). However, we did have unscrupulous competitors, about a year after we started, follow us around, then get to our clients an hour before us, and try to steal our clients. One time, when my hubby was sick for three days, the competitor told all of our clients that my husband sold him his business and that he was the new espresso guy. What nerve! And a lot of clients were pretty uncaring, they just wanted their espresso, and they fell for it. One of these bad fellows was a mobile concession vendor too, just scummy business practices. We did have good relationships with 2 other mobile trailers that started after us, the three of us referred each other and had trust.

    The county doesn''t care where your route stops are. They might care if you''re parking it.

    Anyways, you can set up as permanent or drive it around, but you have to check the parking regs first.

    Good luck!!

 

 

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